Weekly Press Conference Quotes From Coach K

K on Valpo, Florida State, and high schoolers going to the NBA

On the primary obstacles to repeating NCAA Championship

"Good teams, and not having the same team back primarily in the next year. When we won in '92, we had most of our key components back and that's going to be hard to happen now because if a team wins an NCAA Championship somebody's going to leave, somebody's got to be pretty good. That will be difficult. The other thing is you're usually going to have younger teams now at the top-level teams because guys go early."

On attacking the Championship rather than defending Championship

"It's a play on words. It's a new championship so you're not defending anything. You're not going to lose your championship. You have to go out and get another one. In sports, that's really a bad way of defining it. It's not yours yet, so how could you be defending it?"

On Tim Pickett

"Pickett's the kind of kid you want on your team and you want to coach because he has to be a really good practice player because he has energy. He has energy not just for himself, he's got energy for his team. You want kids that have energy for their team. He's got energy for his team, and he's good. He's the leader of their team and is willing to take the big shots and put himself in a position where when the game is on the line, he's the kid that every coach would like to coach. I really like him. I said that numerous times. He's been good for Florida State and he's been good for our league."

On playing Valparaiso

"What we've tried to do over the years is get ourselves ready for the NCAA Tournament. You can do that in a variety of ways. One way, of course, is being in a tough conference like we are, but then, to try to play someone who might play you differently, in a different system, somebody who has an NCAA pedigree. Valparaiso has won 7-out-of-8 or 8-out-of-9 of the last conference championships and is vying for one again. They have a good chance of being an NCAA team. I think that that helps us during this time, also, to see if our guys can get out of the mindset of playing ACC basketball and now playing national basketball, which we're going to have to get into in a few weeks. Finally, you try to play against outstanding coaches. Homer Drew is one of the shrewdest and most successful coaches in the country. He might do something against us that nobody else has done, but I'd rather find out about it now than wait until we get into the tournament."

On seeing Homer Drew

"Homer is a good friend of mine. He is the epitome of a coach. He's won over 500 games and he does it the right way. Historically, in the NCAA Tournament, he's helped at our tournament with some upset specials, and that's one of the reasons we wanted to play them."

On what to say to players thinking about making the jump from high school to the NBA

"You can't give a general statement for that. I would, first of all, only talk to somebody that was a part of our program and was considering that. What you have to do is make sure you are dealing with proper information, make sure that is the right race for that kid to run. It's not about going to the NBA. It's about being a really good player and staying in the NBA. If somebody's ready to do that right away, then so be it, but you have to be really careful about going too early and not staying late or not staying the way you want it to stay. I don't think you should go in if you're not going to play. You have to be physically and mentally ready to play. That would be some advice, but it would be a very personalized conversation with the individual kid."

On sustaining Duke's success on gaining bids to the NCAA Tournament

"It's not just getting bids. There are different levels of success. We not only want a bid, we want a high seed, and we want a chance to go for the national championship. I'm not saying that we can do that every year, but we'd like to have that as our goal. It's much harder to do that now than it has ever been because you have greater turnover. Our team gets to be number one at some time this year, and the word out is that Duke has been number one in the last seven years, but this team hasn't. It's not the Yankees or a pro team or whatever. We have different players. To try and do that every year with really different players or different maturity levels of the players is a lot more difficult. If you have a really good player, he doesn't get a chance to become too old because he goes to the NBA early, and then he doesn't have an opportunity to teach the younger guys. That's the changing environment that there is. It's more difficult, but you have to adjust to it and try to figure out a winning formula in this environment."

On why it is tough to win in Tallahassee

"I think the fact Florida State is good is the main reason anyone would lose there. We've won quite a bit more than we have lost there."

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